When we reported on the trend of women shaving their faces back in October, it brought back fond memories of the days when I, now a member of Refinery29's beauty team, would take a razor to my own visage. Before you get all, "Oh my god, that's so bad for you" in the comments, it wasn't like I shaved my entire face — who am I, Wolverine? Instead, I tackled a specific area: my eyebrows.
You see, bold brows run in my family. We're not talking Drake-level status, but I like to think they're almost up to snuff — maybe with a bit more arch. While today, some would consider us #blessed (a brow specialist recently told me I should thank God every day), that hasn't always been the case.
Rewind to my middle-school days, when pencil-thin arches were all the rage, and thick eyebrows à la Brooke Shields were a thing of the past. Genetics made me unhip — and taunts and ridicule were aplenty. My brows weren't just plotting a takeover of my face, but they also did this really cool thing where they would try to merge in the middle. Yep, I had a unibrow. My role models at the time skewed more toward Destiny's Child than Frida Kahlo, so it wasn't exactly the look I was going for. Since my mother deemed me too young to get my eyebrows waxed (understandable), and I would rather have been stung by bees than torturously pluck 'em, I did what any self-respecting teenager who was looking to impress that boy in homeroom would do: I reached for my older sister's razor.
The process started off tame, as I focused my attention on the most bothersome part, the unibrow. The results were so instant and glorious! Then, I tried to shape my arches — with mild success. In my attempt to make them symmetrical, I alternated between trimming from the tops and bottoms, which resulted in me whittling down my mini-caterpillars until I resembled a (mildly horrifying) '90s Drew Barrymore.
I wish I could tell you I learned a valuable lesson and stopped there. But, nah. I continued to shave (with much more caution) until, after a lot of pleading, my mom allowed me to start getting them waxed. Nowadays, though, I am fiercely protective of my brows, embracing a more natural style by way of threading. "Just a clean-up," I say, before they even start to unravel their thread. "I like them thick."
In my experience, eyebrows are better left to the razor-free hands of a trusted professional. But, if you're looking to explore shaving other areas of your face, keep in mind that Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe also reportedly took to this habit. So, at least you'll be in good company.
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